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Ongoing actions (2)

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Posted on 7 Oct 2022 by
From 1 May 2021 to 30 Apr 2025
Coordinating country
United Kingdom
Funding programme
H2020

JITSUVAX is an EU Horizon 2020 funded project coordinated by the University of Bristol working with five other EU institutions as well as one in Canada. The project will run from May 2021 until April 2025.

Vaccine hesitancy, the delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccine services, has been cited as a serious threat to global health by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO has also identified Health Care Professionals (HCPs) as the most trusted influencers of vaccination decisions. JITSUVAX leverages those insights to turn toxic misinformation into a potential asset based on two premises. Firstly that the best way to acquire knowledge and to combat misperceptions is by employing misinformation itself, either in weakened doses as a cognitive “vaccine”, or through thorough analysis of misinformation during “refutational learning”, and secondly that HCPs form the critical link between vaccination policies and vaccine uptake. The principal objective of JITSUVAX is therefore to leverage misinformation about vaccinations into an opportunity by training HCPs through inoculation and refutational learning, thereby neutralizing misinformation among HCPs and enabling them to communicate more effectively with patients.

The study is led by Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, a cognitive scientist based at the University of Bristol. The study team consists of psychologists, behavioral scientists, epidemiologists, health communication specialists and clinicians. All have expertise in vaccine hesitancy.

The individual groups are based at the University of Bristol and the University of Cambridge in the UK, the Turun yliopisto in Finland, the L'Observatoire Régional de la Santé in France, the Universität Erfurt in Germany, theUniversidade de Coimbra in Portugal and the Université de Sherbrooke in Canada.

WHO Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO)

20 August 2021

Call for experts

Issued on:  20 August 2021

Deadline: 10 September 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) is seeking experts to serve as members of the WHO Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO). This “Call for experts” provides information about the advisory group in question, the expert profiles being sought, the process to express interest, and the process of selection.

Background

The rapid emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 has highlighted the importance of being prepared for any future event, to be able to identify novel pathogens early and to address the risk factors that contribute to their emergence and spread. In May 2020, the World Health Assembly, through resolution WHA73.1, requested the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) to continue to work closely with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and countries, as part of the One Health approach, to identify the source of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the route of introduction to the human population.

There have been an increasing number of high threat pathogens emerging and reemerging in recent years with, for example, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, Lassa, Marburg, Ebola, Nipah, avian influenza, the latest being SARS-CoV-2. There is not only need for robust surveillance and early actions for rapid detection and mitigation efforts, but a need for a robust and systematic processes to establish the study around the emergence of these pathogens and routes of transmission from their natural reservoirs to humans.

To this end, the Director-General has established the WHO Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins on Novel Pathogens (hereinafter referred to as ‘SAGO”). The SAGO will advise the WHO Secretariat on technical and scientific considerations regarding emerging and re-emerging pathogens, and will be composed of experts acting in a personal capacity. It is established in accordance with the WHO Regulations for Study and Scientific Groups, Collaborating Institutions and Other Mechanisms of Collaboration.

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